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By-Elections Today, 2 Defeats Would Put PM Under Greater Pressure

UK

Political betting markets show the governing centre-right Conservative Party on course to lose two parliamentary by-elections today in a result that would place even more pressure on embattled PM Boris Johnson.

  • Political bettors make it almost a certainty that the centre-left Labour Party will retake the northern English seat of Wakefield, having lost it in the 2019 general election for the first time in almost 90 years. The betting market assigns a 99% implied probability that Labour will win the seat.
  • In the southwest English seat of Honiton and Tiverton, betting markets give a 72% implied probability that the centrist Liberal Democrats will take the seat despite a Conservative majority in excess of 24k votes in 2019. Internal Liberal Democrat polling in the seat has the two parties neck-and-neck, but bettors clearly favouring the challengers.
  • Polling stations close at 2200 local time with results expected in the early hours of Friday morning.
  • PM Johnson is out of the country for the next week with the Commonwealth Heads of Gov't Meeting, G7 summit, and NATO leaders' summit. Nevertheless, should the Conservatives lose both seats it would place evel more pressure on the PM, with speculation that Conservative backbenchers could alter party rules to allow another vote of no confidence in his leadership.
Chart 1. Betting Market Implied Probability, Honiton and Tiverton By-Election, %

Source: Smarkets

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Political betting markets show the governing centre-right Conservative Party on course to lose two parliamentary by-elections today in a result that would place even more pressure on embattled PM Boris Johnson.

  • Political bettors make it almost a certainty that the centre-left Labour Party will retake the northern English seat of Wakefield, having lost it in the 2019 general election for the first time in almost 90 years. The betting market assigns a 99% implied probability that Labour will win the seat.
  • In the southwest English seat of Honiton and Tiverton, betting markets give a 72% implied probability that the centrist Liberal Democrats will take the seat despite a Conservative majority in excess of 24k votes in 2019. Internal Liberal Democrat polling in the seat has the two parties neck-and-neck, but bettors clearly favouring the challengers.
  • Polling stations close at 2200 local time with results expected in the early hours of Friday morning.
  • PM Johnson is out of the country for the next week with the Commonwealth Heads of Gov't Meeting, G7 summit, and NATO leaders' summit. Nevertheless, should the Conservatives lose both seats it would place evel more pressure on the PM, with speculation that Conservative backbenchers could alter party rules to allow another vote of no confidence in his leadership.
Chart 1. Betting Market Implied Probability, Honiton and Tiverton By-Election, %

Source: Smarkets